Varian is a Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA graduate and faculty member. He is the author of nine novels, including Red Polka Dot in a World of Plaid, My Life as a Rhombus, Saving Maddie, and The Great Greene Heist series.
Varian’s latest middle-grade novel, The Parker Inheritance, is a 2019 Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner, as well as being named to ten separate “best of 2018” lists.
Austin SCBWI’s Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award began 6 years ago with additional mentors Cynthia Leitich Smith, Liz Garton Scanlon, Jennifer Ziegler, Bethany Hegedus and Brian Yansky. Nominations are chosen by faculty at our annual conference.
The other 2019 nominees are: Seth Barton, Madonna Bock, Jennifer Braham, Meghan P. Browne, Heather Anne Harwood, Brooke Hollon, Shachi Kaushik, Sommer Maxwell, Maria Rodriguez, Ehigbor Schultz, Korinne Salas Young, Kara Stockinger, Kristin Wauson and Lynn Wong.